Rugby tick for Fiji
30 May, 2019, 10:38 am
THE Minister for Youth and Sports Parveen Kumar hopes the recent appointments of Fiji and Samoa on the World Rugby Council could pave the way for the hosting of a HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in the Pacific Islands.
Speaking at the opening of the Oceania Rugby annual general meeting in Nadi yesterday Kumar said Government had a close working relationship with Oceania Rugby.
That is through the Ministry of Youth and Sports with the funding, hosting and delivery of the Oceania Sevens Championship in Fiji for the past three years. He said the tournament had proven to be one of the more lucrative and appealing events in Oceania.
“It not only has lifted the standard of the sevens code, but has provided qualification opportunities for countries aspiring to move up the ranks,” Kumar said.
“This is a true reflection of the commitment of Government to develop sports in our country and the region.
“With the support from Oceania Rugby whose commitment, dedication and work done behind the scenes makes this event happen and successful.
“It is important that as small island nations, we continue to work together and present a strong and united voice in all rugby forums.
“All indicators are that Pacific rugby will continue to grow and be a world force and continue with their booming economic returns to small island economies.”
He said by hosting international sporting tournaments as such, Fiji ably demonstrated that it had the capacity, infrastructure and capability to deliver world-class events.
“In Fiji, rugby is a way of life. In our towns, villages, settlement and cities, in our schools and parks and on our beaches, Fijians come to play and enjoy rugby.
“The opportunity to see our Fiji Airways Fiji 7s heroes play international teams on home soil is very rare.
“So the Oceania Sevens Championship provides every Fijian with this opportunity.
“Hopefully with our recent inclusions on the World Rugby Council, we can get international 7s including the World Rugby Sevens Series hosted on our islands.”